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Advice / Job Search / Networking

15 Cheap Holiday Gifts You Can Give Anyone in Your Professional Network

hands holding gift

You’re one of the lucky ones: You have an awesome career mentor who you can go to with any issue or concern. And if not an official mentor, you have someone in your life who’s been extra helpful in your job search, who sets you up with great opportunities, or who you feel comfortable pinging with career-related questions.

So, around the holidays, you probably want to give him or her a little token of appreciation. And by little, you’d prefer for it to be on the cheaper end of things.

We got you, and we’ve gathered 15 great options—all under $20!

1. Knit Wine Bag, $6

gift for business mentor: knit wine bag

What really makes this gift shine is throwing in an (under $14) bottle of wine as well.

2. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton Christensen, $17

gift for business mentor: the innovator's dilemma

Your contact is a major influence in your career, so why not give him or her the book that “deeply influenced” Steve Jobs. (And if not that one, one of these books recommended by career coaches.)

3. Tiled Margot Monogram Mug, $10

gift for business mentor: monogrammed mug

Perfect for the person who has everything (or loves a monogram). Just remind the recipient that these aren’t microwave safe.

4. Hot Chocolate Stir Sticks, $14

gift for business mentor: hot chocolate stir sticks

What could be better than hot chocolate? Answer: Hot chocolate (milk and dark) on a stick.

5. Sabon Holiday Splendors Bauble Kit, $17

gift for business mentor: sabon bauble kit

Moisturizing creams and lotions are practical because it’s winter, but this set is festive, too. Bonus: They’re all easy to toss in a liquids bag for an upcoming vacation.

6. Holiday Spice Black Tea, $16

gift for business mentor: holiday spice black tea

Does your contact love a cup of tea? Go with this festive gift.

7. Monstera Leaves Custom Journal, $20

gift for business mentor: custom journal

This stylish journal would be great for anyone. Bonus: You can put their name on it.

Want more recommendations? Check out some of our favorite notebooks.

8. Metropolitan Museum of Art Boxed Note Cards, Audubon Birds, $15

gift for business mentor: boxed note cards

Handwritten notes are a great way to stay in touch with your network—and notecards are a thoughtful gift for the best networker you know.

9. Good Natured Soy Candle, $18

gift for business mentor: soy candle

These scents—balsam, fireside, and winter white—are perfect for the holidays!

10. Space Capsule Tea Infuser, $8

gift for business mentor: space capsule tea infuser

This is not just a tea infuser: It’s the perfect present for your contact who’s obsessed with space.

11. Personalized Wooden Business Card Holder, $14

gift for business mentor: business card holder

A whimsical way for your contact to keep track of all the business cards they collect at their next networking event (or to carry around their own).

12. Signature Classic Gift Box, $20

gift for business mentor: chocolate gift box

When in doubt? Chocolate.

13. Artificial Indoor Mini Desktop Plants, $19

gift for business mentor: indoor mini plant set

A set of plants that are the perfect size for a desk. Bonus: They’re fake, so no mess!

14. Paris Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the City of Light, $17

gift for business mentor: paris cocktails book

For anyone who loves new recipes, delicious drinks, and travel—and who doesn’t?—this book is perfect.

15. Hasbro Trivial Pursuit, $17

gift for business mentor: trivial pursuit

Bring back this classic for the contact who loves trivia. Or games. Or both.

Hopefully this list helps you find the perfect present for all the helpful professional contacts in your life. And above all, remember that expressing your gratitude for all of their guidance over the last year is one of the best gifts you can give.